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Institutional ambidexterity and management control: The role of religious, communal and political institutions

Ahmed Abdelnaby Ahmed Diab (Department of Accounting, Faculty of Commerce, Beni-Suef University, Beni-Suef, Egypt)
Abdelmoneim Bahyeldin Mohamed Metwally (Bangor University, BIBF Campus, Bahrain and Department of Accounting, Faculty of Commerce, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt)

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management

ISSN: 1176-6093

Article publication date: 16 August 2019

Issue publication date: 5 August 2019




The purpose of this study is to investigate in depth how an organisation is able to achieve its economic objectives in a situation of institutional complexity through being institutionally dexterous. The study also investigates how this is done through overriding formal controls and concentrating on socio-political and communal-based controls.


Theoretically, the study draws on the perspectives of institutional complexity and ambidexterity to link higher-order institutions with mundane labour control practices observed at the micro level of the case company. Methodologically, the study adopts an interpretive – case study – approach. Empirical data were solicited in an Egyptian village community, where sugar beet farming and processing constitutes the main economic activity underlying its livelihood. Data were collected through a triangulation of interviews, documents and observations.


The study concludes that, especially in socio-political contexts such as Egypt, the organisational environment can better be understood and perceived as institutionally complex situation. To manage such complexity and to effectively meet its economic objectives, the organisation needs to be institutionally dextrous. Thereby, this study presents an inclusive view of management control (MC) which is based not only on rational economic practices, but also on social, religious and political aspects that are central to this institutional environment.


The study contributes to MC and logics literature in a number of respects. It extends the institutional logics debate by illustrating that logics get re-institutionalised by the “place” through its cultural, political and communal identities that filter logics’ complexities to different ends. Further, it extends the cultural political economy of MC by illustrating that MC in socio-political settings is also an operational manifestation of the logics prevailing in the context. These logics produced an informal MC system that dominated the formal known MCs.



Diab, A.A.A. and Mohamed Metwally, A.B. (2019), "Institutional ambidexterity and management control: The role of religious, communal and political institutions", Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, Vol. 16 No. 3, pp. 373-402.



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